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MSNBC: Mark Ames and Yasha Levine
Broke the Koch Brothers' Takeover of America
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Yasha Levine

While the whole world has been focusing on Prime Minister Putin’s brutal slaughter of the Russian economy, a whole slew of other lesser, but oh so much more graphic, crimes have crept by undetected. We’re here to put a stop to that. The launch of EXILED ONLINE has put the gore sleuths of the infamous Death Porn Bureau back in business. Oh, gone are the good ol’ days. We’re not as well staffed as we once were and can’t have our coffee brought to us by one of our lovely DP girls. In fact, I’m the only one left. I won’t have time to cover all DP happenings that cross my desk, but it doesn’t mean I won’t try.

For this historic relaunch, we’re going with a DP classic that never gets old: the good ol’ vodka-fueled murder spree. And in these hot and humid summer months, there’s a lot of them to go around. As every seasoned DP hand knows, mixing 100-degree weather with 100-proof spirits makes for one hell of a bloody masha cocktail.

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Posted: July 30th, 2008

Sergei Gorshkov, the political blogger who’s in it for the money, not the politics — and isn’t afraid to say so

It was a freakishly warm February morning in Moscow, eight days before Russia’s 2008 presidential election. Green army trucks packed with bleary-eyed soldiers crawled through the city streets, a sign of a paranoid government mobilizing itself against an election-eve revolution. (more…)

Posted: July 23rd, 2008

View of Ulyanovsk from my 20th floor hotel room

On a Sunday evening in Ulyanovsk, after the Give Birth to a Patriot ceremony, I found myself in a movie theater watching Wanted, the new Russian-directed Angelina Jolie flick, with a 19-year-old prostitute named Katya. At least she said she was a prostitute. I met her while doing man-on-the-street interviews during the ceremony, and we ended up getting sloshed at an Aztec-themed nightclub a couple miles from Lenin’s birthplace. (more…)

Posted: July 22nd, 2008

Gov. Sergei Morozov baptizes a UAZ-Patriot, the grand prize for one lucky newborn’s family.

ULYANOVSK, Russia—On a humid Sunday afternoon in late June, about 100 couples clutching newborn babies filed into the Lenin Memorial overlooking the wide banks of the Volga River. This mammoth concrete slab of Soviet constructivism was erected in Lenin’s hometown to commemorate the leader’s 100th birthday and now houses one of the city’s many Lenin museums, but the families had not come for a lesson in Soviet history; they were there to pick up their prizes. (more…)

Posted: July 16th, 2008

yair-klein-columbian-tv

Klein on Columbian TV a few months before his arrest in Moscow

Two weeks ago, while all eyes were focused on the case of international arms dealer Viktor Bout, I spent about five hours at the Moscow City Court watching the appeal case of another accused arms smuggler, Yair Klein. Known as Israel’s most famous arms smuggler, Klein has been fighting extradition to Colombia, where he was tried in absentia in 2001 and sentenced to a 10-year prison term.

Klein was arrested in Moscow last August on an Interpol warrant as he boarded a plane to Tel Aviv. Now he stood just one court decision away from being shipped off in cuffs to Bogota, where he’d rot away in some mosquito-swarmed dungeon. (more…)

Posted: March 28th, 2008

Day 1. My 14-hour drive from Moscow to Pskov starts with a nice road and picture perfect weather. I find myself worrying, Could this be a sign of Russia's economic resurgence?

This article was first published by The eXile in March 2008

Two weeks ago I sat in a GAI patrol car drinking whiskey with an on-duty traffic cop. The pudgy officer had flagged down my friend’s Nissan for a routine “document check,” but decided not to pursue the bribe when he spotted me in the back swigging from a bottle of Jack Daniel’s. I was immediately invited to his idling car for a drink and a chat. (more…)

Posted: March 10th, 2008

(a.k.a. Yakov Borisovich Levandovsky)

exile280

I came back from vacation this week and found myself urgently in need of a warm winter shapka. I lost my last one after I gave it to some guy in exchange for a bottle of farewell Putinka vodka. To get a new hat, I headed down to Cherkizovsky Rynok this past weekend for some serious shapka shopping. Known simply as “cherkizon” among more seasoned rynok shoppers, this outdoor bazaar is truly a shopping wonderland. Cherkizon might just contain the single largest selection of shapkas crammed into one place on planet Earth. (more…)

Posted: January 14th, 2008